Ready to wear: Dear annie
Sunday 17 November 1996
Levi's confirmed that Levi 901s have been discontinued. They first appeared in 1986 and were sold exclusively in the UK. The company advises that the best bet is to go to Personal Pair at the Levi flagship store, 174 Regent St, London W1, where you are measured and the jeans are customised to suit your shape and taste. You normally have to wait three weeks for the jeans, but this will probably be the nearest you will get to anything like the old 901 shape. They will be more comfortable, but the only drawback is that they are, of course, considerably more expensive: approximately pounds 65. Inquiries: 0171 287 4559.
I've started to panic. Winter is approaching fast, judging by the latest stock in our shops, and I need a new pair of slippers. Ideally, suede or leather clogs with a sheepskin lining and hard, repairable soles. Any ideas?
Sheila, East Sussex
Sheila, my love, I don't have a clue what you mean by suede or leather clogs with a sheepskin lining. I mean, I know what you mean, but I have never heard of such a thing. Next does some nice caramel coloured suede slippers with sheepskin linings that cost pounds 12.99 from branches nationwide. Also, slippers with repairable soles? Whatever for? What do you do with yours, walk up and down the high street? But I have found some "Bavarian clogs" in the LL Bean catalogue, which is a great American catalogue that does all sorts of nice finds (for the UK catalogue, call 0800 962954). They are a clog shape in wool or leather in grey, dark green, red or navy plain wool with contrasting trim, or brown and black in leather. Or they have navy, grey, spruce, black, dark green or charcoal (they do men's in all these styles too and colours vary slightly) with a sort of Heidi- esque trim. The first woollen style mentioned costs $49 (pay by credit card and your bank converts prices to sterling), the leather style $80 and the Heidi ones $69 (same price for men and women). But none of these have a sheepskin lining. Their Dew Drop slippers do have sheepskin linings, but they are more of classic "slipper" shape, and these cost $39. Bean's Wicked Good slippers surround your feet with plush shearling that is softer than walking on a bed of marshmallows. Also, there is a cloggy style (but with soft soles) called Scuffs, costing $44. If you don't find something you like in that lot, Sheila, you're a hard woman to please.
I was recently speaking to my 6 ft 6 in, size 14 shoe, 38-year-old (going on 18) uncle, who was complaining about the lack of fashionable or even half-way decent clothes and shoes in his size in the shops. I remembered having read recently about someone who had just set up such a shop (I think he was an ex-sportsman) because of his own difficulty in finding clothes and shoes. I mentioned this to my uncle, who got very excited and demanded to know who it was, where they were and how he could get in touch. I thought that if anyone knew of this organisation, or of anything similar, it might be you (he has already turned his nose up at what is available in High and Mighty). He lives in London, but info on anywhere in the country would be greatly appreciated.
Alexandra, St Albans
No, it wasn't me that wrote of this shop. Mr ex-sportsman, are you out there? (I shall soon be turning my hand to larger than average men, ahem, so if this fellow doesn't turn up soon, watch this space.)
I bought a nightie from Knickerbox in mid-June this year. It turned out to be a very complimented-on piece of clothing (by my flatmates, you understand). However, much to my great annoyance and self-loathing, I stupidly left it at a friend's flat. She has now moved out, and the beloved nightie has never been seen again. I do not have a Knickerbox in either of the two cities near me (Norwich and Aberdeen - I'm studying in Aberdeen) but requested someone in Edinburgh to try in the Gyle shopping centre there - only to discover that the Knickerbox chain has gone into receivership. However, you mentioned the shop in your column. Do they still exist, and if so do they still stock the nightie, size 12-14, price pounds 16.99? White cotton, fitted under bust stopped at mid-thigh.
Well, this friend obviously nicked it didn't she? Yes Knickerbox do still exist. And the style of nightie described, fitted at bust, is being continued in the A/W range, available in different fabrics and prints. Priced from pounds 16.99. There is no Knickerbox in Norfolk, but there is one in Edinburgh and one in Glasgow, call 0171 284 1744 for further details. Knickerbox also do mail order, call 0171 823 4437. See, you'll have your nightie soon! And this time don't leave it round other people's houses - most un-lady-like!
UPDATE: Well, since my holidays, I have been inundated with readers writing in with responses to recent problems. Here is a selection and thank you to all those who took the time ...
Firstly, Sue from Bristol's problem in buying Japanese tatami sandals (3 Nov). Genevieve Steadman responded to my plea to get in touch with her new phone number which is: 0171 485 3452. She still makes them, in almost any size and they cost pounds 18.99 plus pounds 2 p&p. Dr Alex Scott from Liverpool also suggests ASAHI in Kensington (0171 795 6299) or Ladbroke Grove (0181 960 7299). Mrs Ruth Selwyn-Crome in Bungay (is there really such a place?) says try Mitsukiku branches (there's one in London's Regent Street). Keith Lysons's search for sew-your-own moccasins (6 Oct) got lots of you writing in. Barry Cook from Toronto told me about Tandy Leathercraft in Canada (1654 Victoria Park Ave, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada MIR 1P7 tel/fax: 0014167571392). They accept Visa and stock a selection of moccasin kits. Thanks, Baz. Jackie Burnham wrote in to say that her company makes vegetarian shoe kits which cover lots of styles as well as moccasins, so this is a jolly useful address to write down. Are you ready? It's I5 Arthur Road, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 5BG. Prices and styles are too numerous to mention here, and I can't give you a phone number, as she will shortly be moving her company to Philadelphia, but all post will be redirected. Anne Keat from Corsham suggests any craft shop and looking for kits made by a firm called Atlas. Mandy Cawthorn, a bootmaker, suggests getting a catalogue from Pearce Tandy Ltd, tel: 01604 407561, a Canadian firm that does all sorts of American Indian paraphernalia in cut-out and ready to sew kits; or getting her to make you a pair! If anyone is interested, Mandy hasn't quoted prices but contact her on 0115 9622044. Beverley Ashe from Derbyshire's friend Dave produces excellent moccasins you make, from Simple Way, call 01661 830318 for a catalogue. And lastly on this subject, Jack Denwood from Banbury recommends The Orvis Gokey Classic Pull-on Moccasin in Brazilian bullhide for those too lazy to make their own, call 01264 783277; his cost pounds 99 but check current prices (women's pounds 89). Phew. Sophie's plastic peg problem (8 Oct) hasn't come up with very much (Sophie, have you got a sample to send me???), but Carol from Sandhurst thinks the kitchen company, Lakeland Plastics, may be able to help (and if they can't, they do great things anyway, and have been known to make things up in reply to demand, which they then include in the catalogue). Try them on 015394 88100. And S Joyce from Shropshire's problem (and mine) about the bleached bits on her dress: Judy from Aylesbury and Kathleen from Bridport suggest embroidering the area where appropriate and Mrs Evans from Dumbreck in Glasgow has solved this problem by using fabric paint. My mother, as well as M Dawson from Brixton and Linda from Richmond, suggested you try a felt tip pen, but I have found it impossible to get a good colour match, as the felt tip bit always goes darker.
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